Will the Yankees sit on the sidelines this hot stove season?

This was never going to be a very exciting hot stove season for Yankee fans. The bombers need one thing, and one thing only: Starting pitching. Unfortunately, there is never much of that to go around and this year the pickings are especially slim. So far, the Yankees have gone about their own business. They pretty much made sure that CC Sabathia will retire a Yankee. They’ve also resigned Freddy Garcia to a reasonable one year deal (although Bartolo Colon may have been the better pitcher over the entirety of 2011). With those two signings, the Yankees already have a full rotation, once you add A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova to the mix. That isn’t the best rotation, but it will get the job done if the Yankees remain luke-warm on C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish.

In addition, the Yankees don’t have a single opening in the field. They’ll return all three outfielders, their entire infield (provided Russell Martin returns, which is highly probable) and have numerous options at DH (cough … Jesus Montero … cough, cough). All in, the Yankees have a team that will compete in the AL East right now, with ample flexibility to make improvements on an as-needed basis. That’s an enviable position, all without spending on expensive free-agents.

None of this is to say that I would be surprised if the Yankees made a move this offseason. They’re typically active every offseason, but unless a deal lands in Brian Cashman’s lap I’m expecting nothing more than a trade for a decent but not game changing starter.

The simple truth is that in addition to having a complete, competitive roster right now, the Yankees are in as close to a rebuilding phase as the team will ever get. Slowly but surely, one-by-one, the old Yankee guard is fading away. Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada have already rode off into the sunset and Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are not far behind. After winning the World Series in 2009, the Yankee brass may feel more pressure to free up salary and roster space for a future generation of Yankees than to over pay for mid-level talent right now. With a wealth of options in the minor league system as well as ample financial resources, the Yankees have  a strong incentive to invest wisely over the next couple of seasons even if that means forgoing a few wins along the way. This may be as exciting as this offseason gets.

5 thoughts on “Will the Yankees sit on the sidelines this hot stove season?

  1. T.O. Chris

    I don’t buy it. Too many people are too positive this is all the Yankees are going to do for this to be it. Cashman just doesn’t usually work that way. When he’s linked to every free agent in the market and expected to make a move any minute he makes small moves. When all is quite and no one expects a thing he pulls a Curtis Granderson out of his hat.

    I’ve thought all along this offseason was going to produce a trade of some kind no one saw coming. I still believe that is the most likely option, but I wouldn’t count out Wilson on a 5 year deal. The Yankees have distanced themselves from him as much as possible, and I just have the feeling they are hoping his market thins out and then make one offer at the end. Sort of in the same mold as Teixeira.

  2. I’d be surprised if Cash doesn’t have a few deals sitting on his table right now, and he’s just waiting for the market to develop.

    I started the ‘Trade Match’ series this afternoon, and one thing I’m finding is Cashman’s statement of being willing to “sacrifice offense for pitching” is very telling. There are a bunch of deals out there that fit that mold perfectly.

  3. I wouldn’t rule anything out. My point was to highlight that the Yankees are in a position where doing nothing is a viable option.

    • T.O. Chris

      They certainly don’t HAVE to make a move. Though I think if they plan on competing for a WS they do, this roster will make the playoffs but likely won’t splash once they get there.

      I think Cashman works best when he doesn’t have to make a move but it’s in his best interest ultimately to do so. Something tells me we’ll get some kind of pitching splash somehow.

  4. Michael P.

    This is a regular season move. Im not expecting him to do nearly as well as he did last year, but if he can soak up some innings he helps the team get to the playoffs.

    I wouldn’t count out Cashman for having something brewing, but like Chris said “he pulls a Curtis Granderson out of his hat.” I think the Garcia signing has pretty much eliminated the Yankees from buying any high priced FA like Wilson or Darvish simply because now they don’t have to go out and sign anyone. A trade is more likely in my opinion, and I would very much welcome a Garza trade, and I would like a Danks trade. I just hope the Garcia signing isn’t going to preclude any subsequent moves to improve the rotation.

    Some minor moves I would be interested in making would be a signing of Jorge Soler. A lot of hype is being given to Cespedes but Soler is only 19, wont nearly as much, and has tremendous upside. Why the hell not?

    If the Yankees aren’t going to improve the starting rotation now that Garcia is back in the fold, then bring back Andrew Jones on another 1 year deal. Were going to need all the offense we can get. Chavez too, I hear he’s not planning to retire as originally reported.

    I also wouldn’t mind George Sherrill on a one year deal. Hes death on lefties. Not that we need him at all, nor would he really get into too many important situations unless an injury struck, but a true LOOGY is still useful.

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